How To Use An Air Fryer For The First Time

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Do You Wash The Components Of An Air Fryer First?

It’s recommended to wash the components before using your air fryer for the first time. Washing the components helps remove any manufacturing residues, dust, or dirt that may have accumulated during the packaging and shipping.

Follow these steps:

Unplug the appliance.

Wash any removable parts in warm soapy water.

Rinse the parts thoroughly with water to remove any soap residue.

Dry completely before reassembling.

Wipe the exterior with a damp cloth to remove any dust or residue.

Air Fryer Positioning

Proper positioning is important to ensure optimal cooking results.

Here are some key points to keep in mind regarding positioning:

Stable Surface

Place the air fryer on a stable and heat-resistant surface or use a heat-resistant mat.

Ensure that the surface is level and sturdy to prevent any accidents or instability during the cooking process.

Adequate Clearance

Allow sufficient clearance around the air fryer.

Leave at least 4-6 inches of space on all sides and above the appliance to ensure proper air circulation and ventilation.

Avoid placing against walls, cabinets, or other heat-sensitive materials.


It requires proper ventilation to release hot air during the cooking process.

Avoid blocking the vents on the back or sides of the appliance.

Make sure there is enough space for air to flow freely and prevent any overheating issues.

Avoid Overcrowding

Do not overcrowd the basket with food.

Leave enough space between the food items to allow hot air to circulate evenly, ensuring proper cooking and achieving crispy results.

Consider cooking in batches if you have a large quantity of food to cook.

Following these positioning guidelines will help ensure your appliance operates efficiently and produces delicious results.

Always refer to the specific instructions provided with your model for any additional recommendations or precautions.

Perfect Air Frying Every Time: The Cheat Sheet You Need

The Beginner’s Cheat Sheet is your secret weapon for mastering air frying, get the correct timings and temperatures for all foods. 

Take the guesswork out of air frying!

 Why Use Oil In An Air Fryer?

cooking oil bottles

An air fryer uses a minimal amount of oil or sometimes no oil at all, depending on the recipe and personal preference.

The main purpose of an air fryer is to mimic the crispy texture and delicious taste of deep-fried foods using hot air circulation.

Here’s how it works in terms of oil usage:

Oil-Free Option: Some foods can be cooked without using any oil. For example, you can prepare vegetables, certain cuts of meat, and even certain types of snacks like kale chips or air-fried chickpeas without adding any oil.

Minimal Oil Usage: For foods that benefit from a crispy texture or require a touch of oil for flavour, a small amount of oil can be applied.

You would lightly coat the food with oil using a spray bottle or brush.

This allows the air fryer to evenly distribute the small amount of oil over the surface of the food, resulting in a crispy exterior.

It’s important to note that using an air fryer significantly reduces the amount of oil needed compared to traditional deep-frying methods.

This can be a healthier alternative for those looking to reduce their oil consumption while still enjoying crispy and flavourful dishes.

What Is Meant By The Smoking Point Of Oil?

The smoking point of oil refers to the temperature at which the oil starts to produce visible smoke when heated.

It is the point where the oil undergoes chemical changes, breaking down and releasing compounds that can affect both the taste and the healthiness of the oil and the food being cooked in it.

When an oil reaches its smoking point, it can result in unpleasant flavours and aromas in the food.

The release of smoke can indicate that the oil is breaking down and potentially releasing harmful compounds, such as free radicals and acrolein, which can be detrimental to health when consumed in excessive amounts.

Different oils have different smoking points due to variations in their chemical composition.

Oils with higher smoking points, such as refined oils like avocado oil, can withstand higher temperatures before reaching their smoking point.

On the other hand, oils with lower smoking points, like extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil, are more delicate and should be used for low to medium-heat cooking to avoid reaching their smoking point.

It is important to be mindful of the smoking point of oils when cooking to maintain the quality of the oil, preserve the flavours of the food, and ensure a healthier cooking process.

Using oils with appropriate smoking points for specific cooking methods can help achieve the desired results in terms of taste, texture, and overall cooking experience.

Below is a chart to help you understand Smoke Point.

Smoke rate of oils

Smoke rate of oils

Do not use FRYLIGHT as this can damage the Teflon coating of your Air Fryer

Do You Need Oil In An Air Fryer?

Their purpose is to cook food using hot air circulation, which creates a crispy texture similar to deep-fried foods without the need for excessive oil.

You only need to use a minimal amount of oil, if required at all.

For recipes that benefit from a slight coating of oil, such as achieving a golden-brown exterior or enhancing flavour, you can use a small quantity of oil.

This can be done by either spraying the food with oil using a spray bottle or lightly brushing it with oil.

Air Fryer Celsius To Fahrenheit Conversion Chart

Air Fryer Celsius To Fahrenheit Conversion

Air Fryer Cooking Times

Below is a timings chart you may find useful when converting temperatures and timings.

Air Fryer Cooking Times

Temperatures measured in Fahrenheit

Do You Have To Preheat An Air Fryer?

Preheating an air fryer is not always necessary, but can be beneficial for some recipes.

You wouldn’t put your food in the oven without preheating first?

I use the Ninja Dual and always preheat before adding the food.

Preheating helps the appliance reach the desired cooking temperature before you begin cooking your food.

This can lead to more consistent and evenly cooked results.

Preheating may not be necessary for some recipes, especially those with shorter cooking times.

However, for recipes that require a longer cooking time or when you want to achieve a specific texture or browning, preheating can be helpful.

Preheating allows the appliance to reach the desired temperature more quickly and results in more evenly cooked and crispier food.

How Do You Preheat An Air Fryer?

Follow these steps for all makes and models. The process is the same unless your instruction manual advises differently:

Plug in the appliance and set the temperature to the cooking temperature required for your recipe.

Allow it to run empty for approximately 5 minutes.

Once preheated, add your food and begin the cooking process.

Remember to refer to the specific instructions provided, as preheating times and temperatures may vary depending on the model.

Oven To Air Fryer Conversion Tool

Oven to Air Fryer Converter

Oven to Air Fryer Converter

Instant Read Thermometers

It is advisable to buy a meat thermometer to ensure your meat is cooked at the right temperature to avoid food poisoning and to ensure it is not overcooked.

Wireless thermometers are excellent as probes are inserted into the meat before cooking and depending on what type you buy will come with Bluetooth or a gadget to monitor it.

Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

meat thermometer

Is It Safe To Open The Air Fryer While Cooking?

open air fryer

Yes, you can open your basket(s) while it’s cooking.

Unlike traditional ovens or deep fryers, they are designed to be opened during the cooking process without causing any significant issues or heat loss.

Opening the basket allows you to check on the progress of your food, turn or shake it for even cooking, or add ingredients if needed.

Can You Reheat Food In The Air Fryer?

Yes!  Even foods not previously cooked in the air fryer, unlike the microwave which makes reheated food soggy, the air fryer makes the food crispy. 

They are effective at reheating leftovers as they can help restore the crispiness and texture of the food, making it taste more like freshly cooked food.

Follow these steps:

Preheat to 180°C / 360°F.

Place the leftover food in the basket in a single layer.

Avoid overcrowding to ensure even heating.

Reheat the food for a few minutes about 3-5 minutes, depending on the quantity and type of food.

Start with a shorter time and check the food frequently to avoid overcooking.

Once the food has heated through remove it and let it cool slightly before serving.

Reheating food can help revitalise leftovers, giving them a crispy exterior and warm interior.

It’s important to note that delicate or moist foods may not retain their original freshness and could potentially become drier when reheated.

However, for items like fried chicken, french fries, pizza slices, or other similar dishes, the air fryer can do a great job of restoring their texture and taste.

Always consider the specific instructions and recommendations provided with your model, as cooking times and temperatures may vary.

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Hi, I’m Annemarie

Having recently retired, I found myself looking for a new project to channel my energy.

That’s when the idea struck to create a dedicated UK air frying website.

Combining my passion for cooking and the desire to promote healthy eating in busy households, I began developing a collection of recipes tailored for those looking for quick and nutritious meals.

Join me on my journey and discover delicious ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on taste.

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